Tuesday’s Game 18 recap: Royals 4, Mariners 2.
Player of the Game: Hisashi Iwakuma (pictured) looked outstanding in his fourth appearance of the spring, breezing through three innings on 26 pitches without a ball leaving the infield. He gave up four hits and two runs in the fourth, but told Japanese reporters afterward that he was working on his fastball that frame and didn’t throw many breaking pitches, so he wasn’t concerned by that letdown. The 31-year-old has given up just seven hits and three runs in 10 innings of work this spring and clearly looks stronger and more comfortable in this second go-round.
Stat of the Game: The Mariners totaled just four hits, but one was a home run by young infield prospect Carlos Triunfel, raising Seattle’s Cactus League-leading long ball tally to 33.They’ve hit at least one homer in 17 of their 18 games and 20 different players have now contributed at least one bomb, with Triunfel joining that group Wednesday.
Storyline: Iwakuma and Danny Hultzen pitched well, but the four hits and two runs by the offense both tied the lowest outputs this spring. The loss was the sixth in the last seven games for Seattle after a 10-game win streak.
Worth noting: Jason Bay led off for the second straight game as Franklin Gutierrez again was given a day off and Dustin Ackley also sat out Wednesday, but Bay went hitless again and is now 0-for-6 in that spot as his Cactus League average dipped to .292
Quote of the Game: “You can’t impress anyone on the bench. I just hope I get a couple more chances and keep going.” – Danny Hultzen after throwing a scoreless inning of relief in his first action in two weeks after being slowed by a sore hip.
Next: Joe Saunders is scheduled to throw the first four innings of Thursday’s Cactus League game against the Reds in Peoria at 1:05 p.m. PT, with Brandon Maurer to follow with four of his own. The Mariners also have a “B” game at 10 a.m. in Goodyear against the Indians, which will give James Paxton and Taijuan Walker a chance to throw three innings apiece. So lots of pitching tomorrow.
Here’s is the link to today’s boxscore.
And here’s my notebook with today’s news from camp.